The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Lives lost to wasted cause in Iraq

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Mary Daly asks “Where has the respect for human life gone?”(“Lives lost in Iraq anything but wasted,” April 17) in response to Will McAuliffe’s assertion that the lives of all who have died in Iraq were wasted. The entire war is a waste – and not because we aren’t honoring those who died, but because they are no longer alive. Every life taken in this war has been wasted, because without the war, they would still be alive. So Mary, if you’re wondering where our respect for human life is, it lies in the fact that we wish these soldiers were still alive, and that we want no more of them to die. Declaring their lives as wasted is not an insult – it is a measure of how much we wish they hadn’t been sent to die for a worthless war.

We realize that striking a balance between honoring the lives of these soldiers and criticizing those who sent them to die is difficult. The real tragedy and waste lies in that these soldiers, willing to die for the noblest of ideals, were sent to war that has such ignoble effects, including the death of countless Iraqis, and the diversion of needed funds away from our own Gulf Coast. Beyond the waste of resources and countless deaths, the term “waste” also applies to the fact that our brave soldiers, who serve their country for certain ideals and values, are sent by their government to risk their lives in a war that undermines the very values which they uphold, and for which they decided to serve their country.

We believe in liberty, equality and democracy. We also believe that none of these realities can be based on a foundation of violence and occupation. The war is succeeding only in supplanting our ideals with a reality that is destroying those who fight for them – and this is the greatest waste.

Alli deJong

Bradley Jenkins

Liz Loo


off campus

April 17